Security Alert
May 17, 2024

Worldwide Caution

International Travel


Learn About Your Destination


Lebanese Republic
Reconsider travel to Lebanon due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, unexploded landmines, and armed conflict. Some areas, especially near the borders, have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Updated to reflect lowering the overall Travel Advisory to Level 3, information about southern Lebanon, the border with Syria, and refugee settlements in Lebanon, information on crime and political violence, kidnapping, unexploded landmines, civil unrest, and the “If you decide to travel” section.

Reconsider travel to Lebanon due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, unexploded landmines, and armed conflict. Some areas, especially near the borders, have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel to:

  • Southern Lebanon due to the potential for armed conflict;
  • The border with Syria due to terrorism and armed conflict;
  • Refugee settlements due to the potential for armed clashes.

Country Summary: U.S. citizens in Lebanon should be aware of the risks of remaining in the country and review their personal security plans. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid travel to southern Lebanon, the Syrian border, and refugee settlements in Lebanon.

U.S. citizens in Lebanon should be aware that consular officers from the U.S. Embassy are not always able to travel to assist them. The Department of State considers the threat to U.S. government personnel in Beirut sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security. The internal security policies of the U.S. Embassy may be adjusted at any time and without advance notice.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Lebanon. Terrorists may conduct attacks with little or no warning targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities.

The Lebanese government cannot guarantee the protection of U.S. citizens against sudden outbreaks of violence and armed conflict. Family, neighborhood, or sectarian disputes can escalate quickly and can lead to gunfire or other violence with no warning.

Local security authorities have noted a rise in violent crimes, including political violence. Multiple unsolved killings in Lebanon may have been politically motivated.

Kidnapping, whether for ransom, political motives, or family disputes, has occurred in Lebanon. Suspects in kidnappings may have ties to terrorist or criminal organizations.

Unexploded landmines and explosive remnants of war are a hazard along the border with Syria. Heed land mine warning signs. Do not venture off the road into areas marked off with red and white plastic tape. Avoid roadside ditches, shoulders, and unmarked trails. Never touch anything resembling unexploded munitions.

U.S. citizens should avoid demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings or protests as these have the potential to turn violent quickly and with little notice. Protesters have blocked major roads, including thoroughfares between downtown Beirut and the area where the U.S. Embassy is located, and between Beirut and Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Lebanon.

If you decide to travel to Lebanon:

  • Visit our website for information on  Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with kidnappers/hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and members of Congress if you are kidnapped, or taken hostage.
  • Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Do not touch unknown metal objects and avoid traveling off well-used roads, tracks, and paths due to risk of unexploded ordnance.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Lebanon.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Southern Lebanon – Level 4: Do Not Travel (See map below)

The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid southern Lebanon; that is, all parts south of the city of Saida, to include inland areas, as illustrated in the map below. Cross-border rocket, missile, and artillery fire continues to impact southern Lebanon on a daily basis and has caused a significant number of fatalities and injuries.


Border with Syria – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid the Lebanon-Syria border, which has seen clashes between Lebanese security forces and Syrian-based violent extremist groups. The U.S. Department of State also warns U.S. citizens of the risk of traveling on flights that fly over Syria, which include some flights to and from Beirut.

Refugee Settlements – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid travel to refugee settlements in Lebanon, which are prone to outbreaks of violence including shootings and explosions.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.


Embassy Messages


Quick Facts


Valid for ninety days following entry, with no Israeli stamps or visas


One page required for entry stamp









Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Beirut
Awkar (facing the Awkar Municipality Building), Main Street
Beirut, Lebanon
+(961) 4-542600 or +(961) 4-543600
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(961) 4-543600
Fax: +(961) 4-544209

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Lebanon for information on U.S.-Lebanon relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

  • Passports and visas are required.
  • U.S. citizens coming to Lebanon for tourism routinely receive a one-month visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport or other port of entry. This visa can be extended. Details on the extension can be obtained at a local office of Sûreté Générale (General Security).
  • U.S. citizens who also hold Lebanese citizenship are subject to the requirements and responsibilities of Lebanese citizenship under Lebanese law.
  • More information on Lebanon’s entry and exit requirements can be found on General Security’s website.
  • Travelers who hold passports that contain visas or entry/exit stamps for Israel will be denied entry into Lebanon and may be subject to arrest or detention. Even if travel documents contain no Israeli stamps or visas, persons who have previously traveled to Israel may still face arrest and/or detention if prior travel is disclosed.
  • Travelers who have previously worked in Lebanon without the appropriate work visa may be denied entry, detained or deported.
  • Travelers who have previously resided in Lebanon under refugee status, regardless of current citizenship, may be denied entry.
  • Travelers who have overstayed their entry visa validity in Lebanon must obtain an exit visa from General Security’s Department of Passport and Immigration prior to their departure.
  • Individuals who are detained and awaiting deportation will remain detained until they pay the cost of their return airfare.
  • Authorities with General Security may retain U.S. passports for an extended period while U.S. citizens await issuance of work or residency permits.

For Additional Information:

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Lebanon.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorism:  Across the world, terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad and resort to various methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles  – frequently on unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists
  • Places of worship
  • Schools
  • Parks
  • Shopping malls and markets
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)

In Lebanon, there is potential for death or injury because of terrorist attacks. Violent extremist groups, including U.S. government-designated terrorist organizations, operate in Lebanon. ISIS and affiliated groups have claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in Lebanon. U.S. citizens have been the targets of terrorist attacks in Lebanon. The threat of anti-Western terrorist activity persists, as does the risk of death or injury to bystanders. Clashes between Lebanese authorities and criminal elements continue to occur in areas of the Bekaa Valley and border regions.  Hizballah maintains a strong presence in the Bekaa Valley, in addition to areas in southern Lebanon and south Beirut. In addition to the threat of Hizballah conducted terrorist activity, Hizballah has been the target of attacks by other extremist groups for their support of the Assad regime in Syria.

Avoid the Lebanon-Syria border region: The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid the Lebanese-Syrian border region because of past clashes, extremist activity, and the potential for these to recur at any time.

Avoid the Lebanon-Israel border region: Hostilities flared in Southern Lebanon in April 2022, and again in April 2023, due to tensions between Israel, Hizballah, and the Palestinian terrorist group HAMAS. The potential for wider conflict remains. The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid the Lebanon-Israel border area due to ongoing tensions between the two countries. Attacks and responses can occur without warning. Landmines and unexploded ordnance pose significant dangers throughout southern Lebanon, particularly south of the Litani River. Travelers should watch for posted landmine warnings and strictly avoid all marked areas.

Avoid travel to refugee settlements: Violence within refugee settlements has resulted in shootings and explosions. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to refugee settlements. Palestinian groups hostile to both the Lebanese government and the United States operate autonomously in formal and informal refugee settlements in different areas of the country.

For more information, see our Terrorism page.

Crime: Reported crime rates in Lebanon are moderate but rising. Violent crime and sexual assault are rare but do occur. Petty theft -- such as pickpocketing and purse snatching -- occurs in crowded public areas. More recently, the dire economic situation is engendering a significant increase in economically motivated crimes, including home invasions and car thefts. Police are responsive but often unable to affect a positive outcome.

Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. Protests often occur spontaneously with little to no advance warning.

  • Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent. 
  • Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations. 
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

International Financial Scams: Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Lebanon. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help.

Common scams include:

  • Romance/Online dating
  • Lotteries
  • Work permits/job offers

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault or domestic violence are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes by visiting the nearest police or by calling the ISF hotline 1745 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(961) 4-542600 or +(961) 4-543600. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.  

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Lebanon can be significant, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Visitors lacking passport or identification documents at government checkpoints are subject to questioning by Lebanese authorities. In certain areas, taking photos of buildings or other infrastructure has led to questioning and detention. In Lebanon, persons driving under the influence can be jailed immediately.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Individuals who were affiliated with the former militia known as the South Lebanon Army (SLA) and previously departed Lebanon because of their association with that group should carefully consider any plans to return to Lebanon. Alleged former members of the SLA have been detained on arrival and received threats to their physical security, even after receiving assurances from Lebanese officials and/or legal counsel in Lebanon that they could return safely.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the following webpages for details:

LGBTQI+ Travelers: LGBTQI+ status and/or conduct is criminalized in Lebanon, and LGBTQI+ persons can face significant social stigma. Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code prohibits sexual relations, “contradicting the laws of nature,” an offense punishable by up to one year in prison. Although Lebanese courts have interpreted this provision in different ways and prosecutions are rare, judicial decisions can vary case-to-case and LGBTQI+ adults have been charged, tried, and convicted for engaging in consensual same-sex relations. Authorities have arrested LGBTQI+ individuals for minor offenses, then charged them with violation of Article 534 when evidence of their LGBTQI+ identity is uncovered, through searches of cell phones or other personal material. While prosecution is uncommon, short-term detentions can expose individuals to discrimination and abuse.

There has been a rise in anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric from political and religious leaders, accompanied by an increase in online harassment, threats of violence, and violence against LGBTQI+ persons. In August 2023, members of an anti-LGBTQI+ religious group attacked an LGBTQI+ friendly establishment in the Mar Mikhael neighborhood of Beirut, reportedly threatening, assaulting, and injuring patrons. Gatherings, events, or items (including those with rainbows) perceived as “promoting homosexuality” have the potential of being scrutinized, monitored or disbanded by security forces.

While Lebanese authorities indicate that travelers entering Lebanon with passports showing X gender will be admitted without difficulty, the United States government cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries.

See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights Report for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities: The law in Lebanon prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental disabilities, but the law is unevenly enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is relatively low. Some facilities and information have been made accessible, but such standard accessibility is not common. Expect infrastructure accessibility to be limited in urban areas, and even more so in the rest of the country. There are a handful of hotels that are partially accessible in the Beirut area. Some transportation companies do provide accessible services. Events and activities are rarely designed to be inclusive.

Service providers for people with disabilities, such as sign language interpreters or personal assistants, are available but limited in Lebanon. The best way to find assistance is to contact organizations for people with disabilities such as the Lebanese Union for Persons with Physical Disabilities, the Youth Association of the Blind, the Lebanese Federation of the Deaf, or the Lebanese Association for Self Advocacy.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

 Exit Bans: U.S. citizens living in or traveling in Lebanon are sometimes denied permission to depart the country because a criminal, civil, or family court has imposed an exit ban. For example, a head of household can place an exit ban against a spouse and children even before the family arrives in Lebanon. Easily initiated, exit bans remain in place for prolonged periods and can only be removed by petition from an attorney. The U.S. Embassy cannot have exit bans removed, even in times of crisis. An attorney’s list is available on U.S. Embassy Beirut’s website.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Dual Citizenship: U.S. citizens who also hold Lebanese nationality are considered by local authorities to be Lebanese, even when entering Lebanon using a U.S. passport. Lebanese-U.S. citizens who are suspected of association with Israeli citizens or officials, or to have traveled through Israel, are subject to detention, arrest, and prosecution. Their passports may be retained by Lebanese authorities on arrival, and they must appear at the Lebanese Military court the next business day for investigation, after which their passports may be returned if no connections with Israel are confirmed. U.S. citizen dual nationals of other Arab countries who arrive at a Lebanese point of entry with an Israeli stamp in their passports will be denied entry and may be detained or arrested. Travelers with a family name deemed to be of Israeli or Jewish origin may also be questioned or detained.

Travelers who have previously entered Lebanon illegally under Lebanese law, whether as refugees or for transit to a third country, may be denied entry, even if they are or have since become U.S. citizens.

Middle Eastern Heritage: U.S. citizens with names reflecting Middle Eastern heritage may face additional scrutiny at Lebanese ports of entry and may be required to show documentary evidence of their parentage: specifically, official proof of their father’s name such as a copy of their birth certificate.

Marrying in Lebanon: More than 18 separate and distinct religious sects solemnize marriages in Lebanon. Civil marriage is not available. U.S. citizen and Lebanese national couples should familiarize themselves with the rights and responsibilities of marriage as defined by the religion performing their marriage. They should be aware that religious clerics and religious courts dictate all personal status matters related to marriage, divorce, and child custody. In matters of marriage, child custody, inheritance, and divorce, personal status laws provide unequal treatment across the various confessional court systems but generally discriminate against women.  Nationality law also discriminates against women, who may not confer citizenship to their spouses and children. Civil marriages performed outside of Lebanon and registered with Lebanon’s Ministry of the Interior fall under civil court jurisdiction regarding divorce and child custody.

Military Service Obligation: Mandatory military service in Lebanon was abolished in 2007. However, travelers with questions about prior military service, desertion, or failure to register in the past should contact the Embassy of Lebanon in Washington, D.C. for details prior to traveling to Lebanon.

Customs: Lebanese customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning import and export of items, such as firearms, military paraphernalia, professional camera equipment, other communications equipment, or antiquities. You should contact the Embassy of Lebanon in Washington, D.C., for specific information regarding customs requirements. Please see our information on customs regulations.


For emergency services in Lebanon dial 112.

Ambulance services are:

  • not widely available and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
  • not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
  • Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

We do not pay the medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Lebanon Ministry of Health to ensure the medication is legal in Lebanon.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

Water Quality: In all areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe.

Health facilities in general:

  • Adequate health facilities are available in Beirut, but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.
  • Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.
  • Hospitals and doctors often require payment “up front” prior to service or admission. Credit card payment is not always accepted; most hospitals and medical professionals require cash payment, often in U.S. dollars.
  • Private hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
  • Medical staff may have limited English proficiency.
  • Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals.
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities.


  • Due to the current economic situation in Lebanon, many medications are not available in pharmacies and medical facilities.
  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication outside the United States. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
  • Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Ministry of Health to ensure the medication is legal in Lebanon.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions differ significantly from those in the United States. In certain areas, pedestrians have minimal access to sidewalks and are forced to walk along the sides of busy roadways. There are very few bicycle lanes designated for cyclists, and drivers are unaccustomed to sharing the road with cyclists. Beirut streets and highway lanes are known for their heavy traffic congestion and aggressive driving. Lanes are generally unmarked, and roads outside the capital may be poorly lighted.

Drivers generally will find inter-city directional signs and street markers, but side roads often bear no signposts.

An international driver’s license is required for visitors to Lebanon. Please refer to our Road Safety page and the website of Lebanon’s National Tourist Office for more information.

Traffic Laws:

  • Drivers must carry a valid driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance while driving. Licenses are issued to those at least 18 years of age.
  • Drivers must obey speed limits and traffic lights, and yield to ambulances, fire engines, and other emergency vehicles.
  • Radar detection devices are prohibited.
  • Seat belts are compulsory for both front and rear passengers in all vehicles, and helmets are mandatory for cyclists and motorcycle riders.
  • A hazard triangle in the vehicle is mandatory.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is prohibited, as are open alcohol containers in a vehicle
  • Cell phone use while driving is prohibited, except with a hands-free system.
  • Children under the age of 5 must be secured in a car seat, and children under the age of 10 may not sit in a front seat or be carried on a motorcycle.

A comprehensive listing of Lebanese traffic laws (in Arabic) is available on the website of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF).

Public Transportation: In general, public transportation in Lebanon is safe. Buses operate throughout the country but serve a primarily working-class clientele. Taxis are widely available and rideshare services are also active in Lebanon. See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Lebanon, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Lebanon’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Because of the risks to civil aviation operating in airspace immediately adjacent to the Damascus Flight Information Region (FIR), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) that prohibits U.S. and codeshare flights from flying through the Damascus FIR and advises caution for flights operating in the airspace within 200 nautical miles of the Damascus FIR due to heightened military activity in or around Syria.

For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration's Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.

Maritime Travel: “The U.S. Coast Guard has concerns about the safety practices in the Port of Beirut and finds that the Lebanese Ministry of Public Works and Transport has not fully implemented the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. As a result, the U.S. Coast Guard conducts additional screenings of ships that have stopped in Lebanon prior to arrival in the United States.  Assessments by the U.S. Coast Guard indicate that Mariners and passengers traveling through the Port of Beirut should exercise caution.”

Mariners planning travel to Lebanon should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts within the MARAD website. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website. Navigational warnings can be found under the “Current Warnings” section for the applicable NAVAREA from within the NGA site.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Lebanon. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: September 21, 2023

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Beirut
Jmeil Street, Awkar (facing the Awkar Municipality Building)
Beirut, Lebanon
+(961) 4-542600 or +(961) 4-543600
+(961) 4-543600
+(961) 4-544209

Lebanon Map